This morning Walter of popular independent site WalterFootball.com put out his newest version of his mock draft which has three QBs going in the first round (far less than the six some analysts are predicting) and I must admit, I'm salivating at the cadre of talent Walter has arriving in Charlotte.
You can read the whole thing here and follow the links at the bottom of the page for each round. After the jump I'll look at who Walter has pegged to be Panthers are we can discuss the selections further.
1.1- Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Walter admits this pick is still very much up in the air, but as it stands has Newton becoming a Carolina Panther. He offers two alternate picks in Blaine Gabbert and A.J. Green. This is curious because he does not have Marcell Dareus as a possibility for Carolina.
3.65- Orlando Franklin, G, Miami
With the Panthers second selection he has the big guard Orlando Franklin coming in from the U. I can't disagree with the selection and especially adding Newton to the mix the need to get OL depth is at a premium.
3.97- Kendrick Ellis, NT, Hampton
Many of us here on CSR have liked Hampton for a long time and feel his immense upside and bulk outweigh the off field issues he had that sent him from South Carolina to Hampton.
4.98- Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
Again, I love the pick here. Nevis is a penetrating, 3-technique guy who is a poor man's Nick Fairley. He finished the SEC season with 56 tackles and 6 sacks, and when paired with Kendrick Ellis could form a formidable DL.
5.132- Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State
The 6'5", 240 lbs Thomas is the next in line to try and make the transition from basketball to tight end in the NFL. In the 5th round you can take a risk like this to sit Thomas behind Jeremy Shockey and teach him the position for 1-2 years. Lest we forget it's guys like undrafted Antonio Gates who forged the way for guys like Thomas to get drafted.
6.166- Rashad Carmichael, CB, Virginia Tech
The next in line for the Panthers late round CB grooming. I know a lot of Panthers fans really like Carmichael and while he may not be able to contribute immediately, he is the kind of guy who offers long term dividends.
6.203- Bilal Powell, RB, Lousville
Essentially an insurance policy for DeAngelo Williams if he leaves. This pick adds to the RB depth.
7.244- J.T. Thomas, OLB, West Virginia
Another depth pick here, and another insurance policy should the Panthers lose James Anderson to free agency.
So what do you think of this mock Panthers fans? Personally, I like the mix of filling needs and looking 2-3 years down the road. I would be okay with this draft.